We’ve worked with multiple businesses in the manufacturing industry and have noticed a pattern in the issues they struggle with most. In honesty, though, these three issues are pretty much universal to any business generating any kind of quotations, orders, service requests, warranty claims or service bookings.

1.      People not doing what they’re meant to do when they’re meant to do it

As any kind of manager, people who don’t do what they’re meant to do when they’re meant to do it become your pet hate. “I thought that’s what you meant”, “I didn’t check my diary” and the classic “I forgot” become your personal soundtrack and explaining yourself over and over again becomes muscle memory.

It’s seriously difficult to ensure effective prioritisation of workloads and enforce uniformity across all processes and documents without being perched on each employee’s shoulder simultaneously. So work pushes deadlines, documents become outdated and tasks are duplicated by multiple employees. This just wastes a lot of time and effort unnecessarily.

2.      Trying to track down an order with a frustrated customer on the phone

You might be the one in charge, but you can’t know the exact whereabouts of every order that has ever been made. So you find yourself running around offices with a frustrated customer on the other end of the phone, desperately trying to track an order form for an order you didn’t know was placed, with a deadline you didn’t know had passed for a customer- what was her name again?

With such complex business processes, management has to be continuously and heavily invested simply in keeping things running smoothly. Locating items and orders like this is time-consuming, let alone frustrating, and it all comes back to you at the top.

3.      Knowing your process has faults but not being able to work out where

This applies to pretty much any business. You know something’s not quite right because you’re spending all your time fixing problems that shouldn’t be there in the first place, but you can’t seem to work out exactly where the issue is. It could be procurement, sales, engineering or manufacturing that are causing these bottlenecks- you just don’t know. This makes fixing the problem near impossible.

 

You’ll be pleased to know that there is, in fact, a simple solution to these three problems. Workflow Automation can reduce throughput time by up to 60% and shows tangible benefits in the reduction of overhead costs (and frustration), productivity and customer satisfaction.